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The Handbook of European Defence Policies and Armed Forces$
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Hugo Meijer and Marco Wyss

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198790501

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198790501.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 29 November 2021



(p.231) 12 Belarus
The Handbook of European Defence Policies and Armed Forces

Flemming Splidsboel Hansen

Oxford University Press

The Belarusian armed forces are caught in an unsettled struggle between past and future. A pyramid-shaped resource base with a disproportionately large Soviet-era foundation and a much smaller tip of modern technology, the pool of equipment is impressive at first glance, but upon closer inspection it becomes clear that a substantial part is obsolete and Belarus’s force readiness is occasionally put into question by even its closest ally, Russia. The particular understanding by the Belarusian authorities of the implications of the country’s aspirations for neutrality is unlikely to change even in a long-term perspective. Consequently, Belarus is likely to remain a hesitant ally within the Common Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and even in its relations with Russia. In the absence of a major reinterpretation by the regime of the country’s geopolitical context, the defence burden is likely to remain well below the 2 per cent mark even in a long-term perspective.

Keywords:   Russia, CSTO, authoritarianism, hybrid warfare, Soviet

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